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Round Table: Let's Talk About Super Mario

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Tom: Ahem, let’s move on.

So we almost all love Super Mario World with every fibre of our being. Super Mario 64, meanwhile, brought 3D gaming into the home. How revolutionary was it at the time, after almost a decade of pixel-based gaming? (With the odd polygon exception on SNES and Mega Drive)

Desiree: You don't want to know how many hours I spent just fiddling around with Mario's face at the title screen…

Joe: I will never, ever forget the first time I played Super Mario 64. I had been reading every preview in every game magazine I could get my hands on for months and was constantly salivating at the prospect of getting my hands on that trident controller. I finally got my chance when my dad rented the system for me for a week during the summer and everything changed for me.

I couldn't believe what I was playing. Everything was so crisp and gorgeous. The world was so alive. There were so many things to do. Mario was so nimble! It was unbelievable. No amount of previews could have prepared me for that game.

As I've said before, it's the only game that ever made me forget to eat. I played from 9am to 6pm and didn't stop once because I didn't even realize how much time had passed.

Christopher: Super Mario 64 was the most amazing thing I've ever experienced in my long gaming lifestyle. It's the first game that completely blew away every cell of my being when I first played it, and it is still to this day my favourite Mario title.

Joe: I don't think there's been many "perfect" video games, but Super Mario 64 comes the closest for me in absolutely every aspect.

Gaz: So I’m gonna go ahead and make myself unpopular by admitting I never played Super Mario 64 until it came out on the Virtual Console... Chalk that one up to bad life choices. I guess that’s why I don’t have any particular fondness for the game itself. It’s fun yes, and the graphics have a certain charm to them, but whenever I play it now (I have since bought it on N64), there’s just something not quite right. It might be the lack of direction, it might be the slightly off control of Mario, but Mario 64 for me is a game that falls very much in the good but not great pile.

Tom: I'm in the group that loves this game, though perhaps unlike some of its 2D brethren it has a few problems, simply because it was the first game of its type on fledgling technology. In terms of its role as a defining moment in modern gaming its place is secured, in my view.

Christopher: I can understand how people who didn't experience Mario 64 as their first foray into the 3D dimension don't find it so outstanding, but for those of us who did... Wow!

Tom: That's probably absolutely right, Chris.

Joe: I still think it's kind of the gold standard for 3D platformers. There were a lot of growing pains, sure, but it introduced a lot of things and did them so well it's just kind of the measuring stick for the genre. At least, if you ask me.

Christopher: I really want to go pull on Mario's nose right now Des!

Desiree: Mario 64 brought sheer exploration in a platforming game to whole new levels. Yeah, the camera was kind of fiddly, and sometimes it was hard to see exactly where you were (or where you were about to land) depth-wise, but the growing pains were worth it just to be playing the next generation of Mario gaming. There was so much to do, so much to see and discover, and even when you were done with the main stars in the paintings, there were all the 100-coin stars to tackle too, and then the secret stars hidden throughout Peach's castle. I remember being so confused that Toadstool was now Peach. (Laughs)

I'm one who really loves to explore in games, though. There were times I'd turn on the N64 and just run around for hours doing absolutely nothing, jumping off walls, punching butterflies, just swimming around and looking at all the crazy fish and bubbles all around, and flying too! Don't even get me started with the Wing Cap. For those of us who came from the NES and SNES eras and dove directly into the 64-bit stuff, it was a crazy revolution in how we thought about a Mario game.

Gaz: 100star coins are the bane of my existence...

Desiree: They're not for the faint of heart.

Joe: Can we talk about how wonderful Koji Kondo's soundtrack for Super Mario 64 is for a minute?

Tom: Why not!

Joe: Because the File Select theme is my favourite song from any video game ever, no joke. It honest to goodness makes me misty-eyed.

Gaz: Just going to go out on a limb here and propose that Super Mario World had better music that SM64...

Joe: Oh, and "Cool Cool Mountain" is my de facto ringtone during the winter months.

Desiree: The first video game song that ever made me misty-eyed was the ending theme song from SMB3. I remember actually having tears in my eyes the first time I heard it.

Christopher: Tick Tock Clock was/is perfection!

Desiree: I... er... I actually don't think about the SM64 soundtrack much, if at all.

Tom: After Mario 64 Nintendo clearly wanted to continue in the 3D direction. Super Mario Sunshine maybe got criticised for not being Super Mario 64 2. What did you think of it?

Desiree: I skipped the Gamecube generation, so this one's all yours, guys.

Tom: Ditto!

Joe: Chalk me up as one of those who wrote it off for not being 64 part 2. I played it and liked it, but after the level variety of Super Mario 64 the all-summer levels of Sunshine turned me off. That was me being stubborn, though, and while it's not my favourite Mario game I definitely enjoy it and feel the urge to pop it in whenever it gets hot out!

Christopher: Super Mario Sunshine was the sequel to Super Mario Bros. 2 in many ways. Sunshine was absolutely beautiful — those water effects! — but, it's "weirdness" just felt so different, and yet it still had that "Mario" feel to it as well, much like SMB2. I think it's a fantastic, stand-out title in the Mario franchise that everyone should give a try.

Super Mario Sunshine was the sequel to Super Mario Bros. 2 in many ways. Sunshine was absolutely beautiful — those water effects! — but, it's "weirdness" just felt so different, and yet it still had that "Mario" feel to it as well, much like SMB2.

Joe: That's actually a really good way of summing it up, Chris.

Tom: I do plan to play Sunshine this year, as I’m curious to see just how different it is.

Joe: I wouldn't mind having my own F.L.U.D.D. after how hot it's been lately!

Christopher: Just throwing this out there, but I'd have liked to see a sequel to Sunshine at launch for Wii U, instead of NSMB U.

Tom: Don’t you worry, we’ll get to New Super Mario Bros. U!

Gaz: The reason I didn’t get SM64 when it came out was because my parents got me a PSOne rather than a N64, and for some time there was a real possibility I’d never go back to Nintendo.

But reading the old CVG magazine changed everything when Mario Sunshine came along. I was absolutely captivated by it, reading absolutely everything I could find on the game, and devouring new screenshots as the came out. My parents took me to an electronics trade show to try it out, we bought a GameCube and Sunshine, and the rest is history.

It really was the game that brought me back to Nintendo. I absolutely adored everything about it – the beautiful landscapes, the clever level design (the Pinball level was so much fun) and of course the return of Yoshi. Aside from the voice acting, it’s my second favourite game for the GameCube, and that’s a lofty title to hold.

Tom: We'll come to the revival of 2D in a moment. Sticking with 3D for now, did the Super Mario Galaxy games on Wii move the series forward, or try to perfect what had come before?

I think the Galaxy games are sensational, personally.

Joe: I think they were a very neat twist on the 3D platforming formula. The gravity mechanics were an absolute blast to wrestle with and rocketing off between worlds was just so exhilarating! It was also the first new Mario game to come out since I had moved in with my girlfriend (who is now my wife) so getting to share it with her was great. That leads to the Co-Star system... even if it was only for picking up power-ups and pinning down enemies, giving another player something to do in a one-player Mario game made it that much more fun.

Gaz: The Galaxy games just took 3D Mario and perfected it. The original Mario Galaxy, for me, is the greatest 3D platformer ever made, narrowly missing out of greatest game to Mario World.

Aside from the grand music and the beautiful graphics, the game handled superbly and as an added bonus had some mind-bending gravity effects. Without those it would have been great, with it, the game just took on a whole other level of greatness.

The original still edges it for me though. The hub world in Galaxy was superb, and having level hubs such as the Honeyhive Galaxy rather than individual levels like Galaxy 2 felt much better. That’s not to say Galaxy 2 was bad – it was utterly brilliant, but it felt a bit more disjointed than the perfection that was Super Mario Galaxy.

Christopher: When Nintendo dropped Galaxy onto Wii, it was out of this world... literally! But, while the initial satisfaction of the zany gameplay elements were so much fun, the low difficulty eventually broke the game's level of immersion for me. But, Galaxy 2 fixed that and added so much more awesomeness on top of what Galaxy built that it blew me clear into another dimension. Galaxy 2 just oozed pure Nintendo bliss!

Joe: You must be tougher than me, Chris, I thought Galaxy was pretty challenging in some spots! Some of those coin stars... oy.

Gaz: Nowhere near as difficult as those Green Stars...

Desiree: Since my previous home-console Mario game had been Mario 64, it really felt like a bit of both. The graphics were astonishing compared to what I'd seen and played before, the physics were surprisingly natural (given that you're turned upside-down and around quite a bit as you navigate from planet to planet), and the stars to collect were a lot of fun — some felt a bit cheap, but that's nothing Mario 64 didn't give us. I've already said that I love exploring, and the hub world has quite a bit of space available for running around and being silly and also plenty of secrets to discover and unlock. My favourite part was the soundtrack, though! To me, that was probably one of the best things they could've done for the series in order to enrich the Mario gaming experience, to get away from the synthesized stuff and bring an orchestra in.

Galaxy 2 felt like more of the same, though I definitely missed the larger hub world and galaxy-unlocking layout. For some reason it just doesn't strike me with the same level of charm and fun that the original Galaxy did. I went out of my way to get every single star in Galaxy 1, but 2 I just beat once and that was it.

Tom: Galaxy 2 was the ultimate in my view, and I'm proud of my 242 star save!

Gaz: While I liked the 242 stars of Galaxy 2, I have to say I enjoyed revisiting everything as Luigi in Galaxy. Was like a best of tour of the game, just on skates.

Desiree: I think the only part I really didn't like about Galaxy was the 'story'. It felt tacked-on to me.

Tom: Before we go all 2D, let's talk about Super Mario 3D Land on 3DS. In some senses it merged 2D and 3D styles, while also trying to make good use of 3D stereoscopic visuals. Did it work for you?

Christopher: At first, the stereoscopic 3D visuals in SM3DL blew me away, but now I've gotten so used to them that the gameplay takes the centre stage. What makes this game so great for me is that it has a Mario 64 feel to it, but successfully merges elements of the 2D days of the franchise along with it. I'd complain about its difficulty, but that all changes once the second part of the game takes off and the game's brilliance truly starts to shine through. While it isn't the perfect Mario title, it's still one of my personal favourites, and one that every single 3DS owner should have in their library.

Joe: I agree with Chris, in a lot of ways it feels like Super Mario 64 Lite. It's definitely a solid game and I loved the difficulty spike after the game lulls you into a false sense of security. I definitely enjoyed my time with it, but in a way it all feels... shallow, I guess? What's there is great, it just feels like there's not enough of it. I played it, beat it to 100% completion pretty quickly and that was it. I definitely want more!

Desiree: I'm not really a 3D kind of girl, I've mentioned in other places that it hurts my eyes after a very short while, so I really only used it in places that 'required' it and that was all. I had a hard time in some levels where quick precision landings were required because gauging depth was iffy, shadow or no. I knew what I was getting myself into, so I can't blame the game for trying to make people use the 3D effect, and of course I couldn't let a Mario game pass by without picking it up, but SM3DL kind of fell flat with me. I'm hoping it's not the same with NSMB2.

I also gotta say I'm getting kind of tired of the 'you've beaten the game with Mario, now do it with Luigi!' schtick they introduced with SMG. It feels like a cheap way to lengthen the game for completionists. I like unlocking the special levels after beating the main game, but having to do everything twice over when I shouldn't have to just irritates me for some reason.

Joe: The 3D is really the most memorable thing about it for me, but I guess that's obvious. Some of the leaps of faith you need to make, with very long falls, had me holding my breath because the stereoscopic 3D made it feel so real.

Desiree: I was also quite disappointed that there was no flying involved.

Tom: I adored it, but can appreciate why, for some, it was slightly flat. It pushed all of my buttons, personally, and I loved some of the 2D/3D transitions, while some levels made wonderful use of stereoscopic visuals. I simply cannot get enough of it.

Gaz: Quite frankly no, and it’s by far my least loved Mario game ever released (I still haven’t finished the Special Worlds). It might be because of the sheer volume of Mario titles we’re getting at the moment, but it really didn’t do anything revolutionary enough for me to find it special. The game felt a lot like a 3D Mario game, with all the exploration and invention taken out, which of course, is bad. Everything is borrowed from somewhere else – Tanooki Mario is back, flagpoles are back, panels that flip when you jump are back, and basically everything else in the game is from somewhere else. I’ve already played with these ideas before, I don’t need to do it again...

Christopher: I agree that it's a bit short, but the game's simplicity and pickup-and-play approach really appeals to me personally.

Desiree: I haven't finished the special worlds yet either, Gaz — every time I think about it, something else I want to play pops up.

Joe: I like that the worlds are shorter because on a handheld you really need games that can be played in bite-sized chunks... but if they're shorter, I want more of them!

Tom: Gaz has raised the issue or 'been there, seen it before', so let's go to 2D's revival and really look at them critically. To start with New Super Mario Bros. on DS, did you think it was a return to 2D form, or were gamers so desperate for new 2D Mario that they just accepted what they were given?

Joe: New Super Mario Bros was pretty okay, but it was like the original game: fun in its own right, but pretty basic and it really just laid the groundwork for better things.

Desiree: In retrospect, I think we were so desperate that we accepted what we were given.

There are quite a few things I don't like about NSMB. It laid the groundwork for New Super Mario Bros. Wii, though, so it wasn't all bad, I guess.

Man, do I remember being jazzed as hell for it though! NSMB was the reason I picked up a DS in the first place.

Joe: I loved how Mario would talk to you whenever you closed/opened your DS when the game was on though. That was rad.

Gaz: I remember playing it like crazy when I got it, and absolutely loved it despite its shortness. Having not played a 2D Mario game since the late 1990s, it was refreshing to go back to the simplicity of gaming when I was first getting into it. But looking back, it hasn’t stayed as good as it was. It’s a fine Mario platformer, but perhaps getting more of the same isn’t always a good thing...

Christopher: I was craving a 2D Mario title when NSMB came out of DS. I adored the game, and actually ended up buying my wife a pink DS so we could play the mini-games together. I found the game to be quite refreshing, and one memorable moment that I had with the game wasn't of me playing it, but a friend of mine who crashed the night at my house, found it and stayed up that night until he beat the entire game straight through.

Desiree: The mini-games were a lot of fun, I'll admit — my husband and I played them together quite a bit. They were kind of cheesy, though.

Christopher: I do agree that the game wasn't perfect and if anything, made me realize how much I enjoyed the old 2D titles so much, but it's a game that I'm glad Nintendo took the time to develop, as it's still one I pull out to play from time to time.

Gaz: And let's face it, it must have done something right to sell so well...

Desiree: Actually, it hit at the same time as the Lite. The reason it probably sold so well is likely a combination of that (they were running deals where you could get the game and the console together) and banking on the Mario name, plus the commercial campaign they ran.

Tom: Let's talk about NSMB Wii and two things in particular. Did you think the level designs stepped it up a notch, and what did you make of that crazy multiplayer mode?

Christopher: I'm going to catch it for this, but if there's one thing that I can't deal with, it's controls that I can't come to grips with. While I'm not one to ditch something before giving it a really good effort, I just couldn't ever come to grips with NSMB Wii's controls. The forced motion controls bugged me so badly that I ended up hurling a Wii Remote across the room. I picked the game up again for a second try a few months back and I just can't get into it. I find the game to be far more frustrating than fun, and it's not from level design, it's from the controls.

Joe: I think the level design of NSMBW was tied directly into its multiplayer mode; those stages were built from the ground up to be mayhem for multiple players! It was really tough for my wife and me to get through it, as we're both seasoned Mario vets suddenly forced to share the screen! It was an absolute blast, though, and due to the fact that it let us play together, with both of us being active, I like it better than both Galaxy games.

Gaz: I have a group of friends who have never played a platformer in their lives – NSMBWii changed that. I fondly remember inviting them over one night and starting to play it at 8pm. At 6am the next morning as the Sun was rising we conquered Bowser’s Castle, with only one of us making it out alive. It’s one of my fondest gaming memories, and to finally be able to share my favourite series with my friends was a really special moment.

In terms of single-player, the game did a lot right. The Propeller Suit may not be a classic (the Penguin however is), but it added some much needed verticality to the levels, and the return of Yoshi just made it even better. However it still feels very conservative – at its heart, the game is still NSMB, and doesn’t exactly reinvent the franchise. For me, this was the first time the Mario series began to feel somewhat stagnant.

Christopher: Maybe that's the difference that I had with the game, as I played it entirely in single player.

Desiree: I do think the level designs stepped it up a notch. You had the gyroscopic sensor in the Wii Remote so they could do the crazy tilting platforms, there were levels with sand traps, the rotating-block platforms, and all that Wii Remote shaking... my wrists hadn't hurt that bad since I finished Twilight Princess (laughs). I could really feel the SMB3 influence, and at times it took me back, but then other times I was left with a propeller suit or a penguin suit and wondering what the hell had been done to one of my favourite franchises. I love the Ice Flower, but I hate the Penguin Suit!

Gaz: You can't hate the Penguin Suit! It's Mario, in a Penguin Suit, what's not the love?

Desiree: It makes about as much sense as Spiderman in a safari outfit — none!

Gaz: Nor does a Frog Suit, but that's awesome.

Joe: The penguin suit was great! I loved sliding around going after those secret coins.

Christopher: Yep, I did enjoy the penguin suit bits, but it's the shaking the dang Wii Remote that pushed me over the edge of the cliff.

Desiree: The frog suit actually serves a purpose, and if you beat one of the Koopa Kids with it on you get a special message. The penguin suit just looks silly. That and the shell suit from NSMB, I didn't like either of them.

On the final page of this round table, we debate the current standing of Super Mario, the trends we're seeing in the series and what we want to see in the future.

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User Comments (42)

MetalMario

#1

MetalMario said:

Super Mario Bros. 3 is probably my second favorite Mario game. It is always a blast to play.

JohnPhilipSousa

#4

JohnPhilipSousa said:

It's a shame I missed that time. I would have loved playing SEGA Master System. (trollface)Seriously though, it sucks being a retro game fan as a kid. Other kids think you're weird, adults think you're not retro enough even though I honestly feel nostalgia for old games that I've never played. Now that I put it that way it does sound weird. (laughs) Also, I am sad to admit my first video game I've ever owned was some GameCube SpongeBob game. First I saw was a friend playing Leaf Green though, so I might be redeemed. (laughs)

WingedSnagret

#5

WingedSnagret said:

Tom: "Perhaps the problem is Mario's success. Nintendo's under pressure to return to profit, and Mario is guaranteed sales. Other franchises simply don't have that power."

I think that is one of the biggest reasons why Nintendo keeps pumping out Mario title after Mario title as of late. Mario prints money, and other series don't make enough to warrant more frequent installments, which is too bad.

Knuckles

#6

Knuckles said:

Well I grew up on Sonic 3 & Knuckles, so Super Mario doesn't have the same charm that classic sonic platformers do for me.

grumblebuzzz

#7

grumblebuzzz said:

I find these round tables hard to read because of the changing narration and not really knowing who is who. I think it would be a good idea to maybe record these as videos and post them in that way.

JohnPhilipSousa

#8

JohnPhilipSousa said:

I feel like I grew up on these games, but I didn't. Quite strange. I think this should've been Let's Talk About Sonic though. This is SErvice GAmes Life after all! (trollface)

Xilef

#9

Xilef said:

I actually think NSMBU will be a much more innovative game. I don't know why, since we don't know to much about it, but it just feels that way...

Bass_X0

#10

Bass_X0 said:

Desiree: TO DAVY BLOOBER'S LOCKER WITH THEE!

I call them Bloopers as they were called in the instruction manual.

Cia

#11

Cia said:

I think they should do something more innovative with Mario. It's just a mascot now, a soulless symbol of the corporation. I want the old, more humane Mario back, with modern technology of course.

Bass_X0

#12

Bass_X0 said:

Isn't modern technology what makes Mario soulless?

Give New Super Mario Bros. 2 the graphics of NES Mario and people will be going crazy for it.

Kyloctopus

#13

Kyloctopus said:

TBD really doesn't anticipate NSMB2 because it reminds her of Wario while I find the Kirby's Dream Land series alot like Mario.

baba_944

#15

baba_944 said:

Is it "Are" suppose to be "our"? And I never played a Gamecube or DS game back then, but I seen dozens of commercials for them and talking about New Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Sunshine, Paper Mario the Thousand Year Door which is fun

sinalefa

#16

sinalefa said:

@Grumblebuzzz

I guess having this as text helps a lot during editing. Similar to Iwata Asks. A friend of mine used to do some of these via AIM and the final thing looked completely different to the one live.

Anyway, the impossible request of "let's have yearly Marios and make them all awesome" proves its absurdity here. The New Marios have never been really amazing (the Galaxy games had that distinction on Wii) so I am not expecting anything groundbreaking, yet I would love to have a 3D Mario with many great ideas later in the Wii U's life. As long as it does not involve FLUDD, please

scrubbyscum999

#17

scrubbyscum999 said:

You guys make me feel young. My first games were Pac Man GBC and Super Mario Advance 2: Super Mario World with my purple GBA. Pokemon Emerald is what made me a gamer though.

Kyloctopus

#18

Kyloctopus said:

I decided to pop in my Super Mario All Stars disk, and I forgot how much fun SMB2 is. It's a good breath of fresh air.

Gretski

#20

Gretski said:

I grew up with a GameCube which will always remain my favorite system. I remember spending hours and hours with Kirby Air Ride and Luigi's Mansion.

Doge

#22

Doge said:

i also grew up with gamecube, and to this day i sdtill have kirby airide and sunshine oh, and cubivore who ever knows what that is say so!

Mario500

#23

Mario500 said:

Desiree: "Back when NSMB hit I remember arguing for a proper New Super Mario Bros. 2 — not so much what we're about to be given, but something like NSMB2 (US), with vegetable throwing, shell riding, POW-block throwing, enemy-tossing goodness"

I believe "NSMB2 (US)" is a typographical error for SMB2 (US).

FluttershyGuy

#24

FluttershyGuy said:

Great article, folks! :) Love reading your NintendoLifers of the Round Table discussions!

My first experience with the Brozzz was actually the original Mario Bros., where you knock over enemies from below and kick them away! I got it just before Christmas, 1987. When I got the NES a couple of months earlier, it was a Zapper/R.O.B. set, which came with Duck Hunt & Gyromite. I didn't actually play Super Mario Bros. until a moved a few months later to a small town that had a place which rented movies AND games. I'd not seen a place yet that rented games. So, it wasn't until like April or May 1988 that I played SMB! Turned out to be a good thing, as it wasn't much longer that I had to wait for SMB 2, which came out in early November of '88 (right before Zelda II).

Speaking of SMB 2, I'd also love to see a return to its gameplay. I can see it as a story where Bowser magically brings Wart & Co. out of Subcon and into the Mushroom Kingdom, for the sake of joining forces to battle Mario & Luigi! I'd have Wart as a mysterious figure that you're surprised by late in the game! Another want: To leave the Mushroom Kingdom for a Mario side-scroller again (and maybe it happens in NSMB U). I think that's one thing making the NSMB series stale. Getting old starting out at Peach's castle, the first world (and subsequent) looking so familiar. Return to Subcon, Dinosaur Land, or some new mysterious place that piques our interest again! :) Still hoping for New Super Mario World (if NSMB U isn't it in spirit) one day. :)

gundam00

#25

gundam00 said:

Simmer down y'all!! You'll get your 3D Mario Wii U in time! All this retrospect talk about past Mario games and Consoles, you guys skipped over a very big elephant! Nintendo stopped releasing brand-spankin-new Mario alongside Console releases with the GameCube. The last time Nintendo released a new Console with a ground-breaking Mario game was with the N64. GameCube was released alongside Luigi's Mansion. Wii was released with Wii Sports. The reason the 3DS tanked when it was released was because of the high price, but also because there was NO Mario game with the release! 3DS sales skyrocketed after Mario 3DLand was released. Nintendo recognized that Mario MUST be released with new hardware.

So we have the 3DS XL release alongside NSMB:2 and we have Wii U released alongside NSMB:U. Nintendo scrambled to put a team together for NSMB:2 in time for the XL release because the NSMB team was working on the Wii U game, which proves that Nintendo recognized: new hardware == new Mario

Now! The Wii was hugely successful with families. NSMB:Wii was hugely successful with families. Nintendo is MARKETING Wii U towards families!! So of course Nintendo is going to release the Wii U with a Mario title that is family-oriented. You guys even said what made NSMB:Wii so much fun, despite being a redundant game, was playing with your spouses!!!!!!

As we have seen with Mario Sunshine and Mario Galaxy, a 3D ground-breaking Mario will be released within the first year of the Wii U launch. 3D Mario is no longer Console-launch material. Multiplayer 2D Mario replaced that. And as we have seen with every 3D Mario, Nintendo changes the rules for what 3D should be and is capable of. But 3D still turns off a lot of players.

The reason Zelda feels so epic is because Nintendo hasn't cross-genred the Zelda brand with spin-offs. There's a reason why there is no Zelda Tennis or Zelda Party 9, or even Zelda Kart Racing. Mario is a FAMILY brand. That's why Mario is able to play tennis, play soccer, play board games, play kart racing, etc. Mario is the Mickey Mouse of Nintendo; a brand that is able to take on as many roles as possible without the side-effect of harming the brand.

Also, you guys say that all these Mario releases will tarnish the brand and turn people off. However, Nintendo has been doing this with Mario since the NES and Gameboy. There's been Dr. Mario, Mario Pinball, Mario Picross, Mario Party, Mario Fortune Street, Paper Mario, etc., with my personal favorite spin-offs being "Mario Is Missing!" and "Super Mario RPG" (EPIC!!!!).

So sit back and enjoy NSMB:U with your family as the game was intended!! And 3D Mario Wii U in HD will be released later next year and be so epic there will be a baby boom among gamers!

Nintendo KNOWS what they're doing! WE ARE NOT WORTHY!!!!!

WiiLovePeace

#26

WiiLovePeace said:

It was an interesting read until the last page where you guys went way too far in bashing the latest Mario games, it was nice to read different opinions about the various games in the series but then it dragged on & on in the last page.

As for me I enjoy all the Mario titles, I guess I'm just an easy to please gamer. I just look for fun in the games I play I don't really overly criticise things like controls or the camera, I play the games & if it all adds up to being fun then I'm a happy gamer :) I also don't too often compare games to other games, in the same series or otherwise. I like to look at the game I'm playing, the experiences it brings & not get so caught up trying to compare this game experience to another game experience, it just doesn't make sense to me to do that.

Bass_X0

#27

Bass_X0 said:

Would it be right to deny gamers the chance to play 3DS until Super Mario 3D Land was ready to be released in December?

triforcepower73

#28

triforcepower73 said:

@WingedFish This will probably come off as crazy but I think nintendo should stop making mario games for just a few years and focus solely on being known for their less popular franchises like f-zero, kid icarus, kirby, metroid, pikmin, and even zelda(I did that in alphabetical order). Their other series are just as good, if not, better than mario and a lot of people don't know it. It would be cool if nintendo were someday known for their epic franchises like zelda and metroid and kid icarus just as much as they are for their fun as heck franchises like mario and kirby. Don't get mad at me, it's just a thought.

ThomasBW84Admin

#29

ThomasBW84 said:

I fixed the typo where TBD was talking about hopes for a title in the same vein as Super Mario Bros. 2 (US), I'd missed that.

@WiiLovePeace - That last page was really a debate about where the series is, and though there was some criticism of some of the later games, there was some talk defending the current titles - differing opinions and all that. It's a weird time in the Super Mario series, just because of the volume of games, so it's a debate with multiple sides. Some of us want Mario to be less frequent and more innovative, and some of us think those days are gone but that the games are still excellent. If anyone came across as 'bashing' the newer games, it's probably because they care about the series so much :)

bezerker99

#30

bezerker99 said:

My first Mario experience was Mario Bros and Donkey Kong in the arcade.

And then it was Vs. Super Mario Bros. in the arcade.

And then I got a Nintendo Entertainment System for my birthday in 1986 and I had Super Mario at home! Sooooo awesome! Still one of my fav games ever.

Emaan

#31

Emaan said:

My first Mario game, was my first game ever. Yeah I'm young, that game was Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 on the GBA. What a way to start off my journey as a gamer, that was the game that made me fall in love with video games. Time has passed, and Mario has changed. Super Mario Galaxy is still my favorite game, a shining example of how great a new Mario game can be, even better than the retro classics. Now however, I fear that the New Super Mario Bros. games are thinning out what used to be an innovative series. Super Mario is still my favorite series, but I'm watching and waiting to see how Nintendo will keep the series fresh, and most importantly fun.

SuperMinusWorld

#32

SuperMinusWorld said:

My thoughts on Mario, past, present, and the frightening future: The series' gilded history is one not too many other franchises can achieve, but these """"New"""" games are seriously ruining the Mario series' image to many fans. Destructoid said it best: 'The New Super Mario games should be seen just as spin-offs, and nothing more.'

In my eyes, the only true Mario games now are the 3D titles which continually innovate and change up the way they're played (with the exception of Galaxy 2). It's not too harsh to ask for innovation if 4 games in the series are already almost exactly the same (NSMB, NSMBWii, NSMB2, and now the bland and uninspired NSMBU). I've been a longtime fan of the Mario franchise and my excitement for each game increases gradually. However, NSMBWii and now NSMB2 are the first Mario titles ever to make me think twice about them. I'm considering buying 2, but U is not a system seller and I will gladly play it at a friend's while waiting for a proper Mario game to come to the Wii U.

If Nintendo doesn't wake up and see how they're damaging this series (my and many others' all-time favorite game series ever), then we may never get an inventive, fun, and truly "New" game from the 2D Mario's again.

Super-Mario-Fan

#33

Super-Mario-Fan said:

Mario games are great. I never complained about any of the Mario games.Their all so great. Super Mario Sunshine will still be my favorite Mario game of all time.

stealth

#34

stealth said:

Some of the statements made by the writers are ridiculous

1) Nothing has made it more clear, there will be 1 2d mario per system per gen

thats it. Its not going to happen every year

2) Mario U is a total system seller. Its stunning, original, I havent seen any 2d mario like it. Its made by the main team and everything

Dont even compare the 3ds 2d game to it, as it was made by a team who never made mario before

A 2d mario IS THE PERFECT launch game. Everyone will buy it

Mario games sell MORE than they ever have

they are more of an event. A very very special event

stealth

#35

stealth said:

alot of them come off like 3d mario elitists

new super mario is FAR MORE POPULAR, than ANY other mario title in history

can you blame them? the games are amazing

Blizzaga

#36

Blizzaga said:

I'm personally apalled at all the hate Mario has been getting recently. It just does not compute. Unless I pin it on it being a new fad, that Mario-hating is now the cool thing to do.

I, for one, HATE having to wait years and years for a new main Mario title, because when I beat them I thirst for more. No fuggin' way that I'd be content with having to wait for a brand new console to come out. With the Wii, my dream came true. THREE main Mario titles to keep me busy. Now that was more like it.

And now, I still demand more Mario. 3D Land rocked my world and New Super Mario Bros. 2 is my most highly anticipated game of the year. I've been wanting a handheld sequel to my most favorite DS title for years now. They shouldn't have waited this long if you ask me.

As for New Super Mario Bros. U, it looks amazing to me, but I'm not anticipating it merely because I won't be able to afford a Wii U any time in the foreseeable future, especially if I still can't find a job in this bad economy and horrible town (12% unemployment rate) I'm stuck in.

But I digress.

All this Mario makes me very very happy. It's a dream come true for me. So seeing all these people complain over the past several months has been a STRONG kick to my balls. To the point where I feel like distancing myself from the gaming community since it seems more and more like I'm alone in the universe with my opinion.

As for "stagnant"? Puh-leeze. I don't care what you guys say, each NSMB game may look alike (BUT IT'S A FUGGIN' SERIES. WHAT THE HELL DO YOU EXPECT?), but each one has variety and are unique enough to be their own games.

As for NSMB2 and U being released so closed to each other, I submit the question: so what? One is a handheld game, while the other is a home console game. Problem?

Now, I could understand if they were on the same console. But they're not, so I don't see their release dates as a legitimate argument. The article was mostly about nostalgia, and I was apalled that you guys were saying that we should all be forced to wait 3-4 years per Mario title merely because of your anticipation and hype train nostalgia. It came off as elitist. I personally love nostalgia, but this is one of those times where someone can rightly say that you need to take the rose-shades off for a moment, long enough to wake up and smell the coffee. There is no legitimate reason to wait so long for an outstanding Mario title. Unless you bring up the innovative ones that come out once a generation, then you're just being selfish and stinking things up for those who would love to have several Mario games per console instead of waiting forever until the next console. 2D Mario games are obviously easier to make than the 3D ones, and thus can be churned out faster. I don't see any problem with that. Am I disappointed that the Wii U won't have a console-bending Mario 3D title at launch? You bet I am! However, I'm not going to take it out on New Super Mario Bros. U, which will be an outstanding game in its own right.

I personally want a Super Mario Galaxy 3, but that's a topic for another day.

Anyways, I was disappointed with this round table. If it were to have a subtitle, I'd submit: "When nostalgia can be a bad thing."

Blizzaga

#37

Blizzaga said:

@stealth New Super Mario Bros. 2 was mainly a new team, but so what? The torch needs to be passed some time in the future. :P

And anyways, they all took part in a "Mario Cram School".

Tokool2007

#40

Tokool2007 said:

I'm gonna have red marks on my head where I face palmed many times during the comments...

SuperMinusWorld

#41

SuperMinusWorld said:

@stealth The New series is uninspired, bland crap. Where the original sidescrollers continued to change their graphics, music, gameplay, and locations, the New series follows a strict code in how the games look, play, sound, and where they take place. They never strive for better. They just play it safe because they know they'll get big sales. The gameplay is, as is expected of Mario games, tight and feels good; but that doesn't make up for the fact that we're literally buying almost the same exact game with a few tweaks here and there. When did you leave Destructoid, by the way?

@Blizzaga It may be a series, but that doesn't mean the games have to all have the same graphics, music, and gameplay. Super Mario Bros. 1-4 (aka World), they're part of the series, and yet they are unique and innovative in every way from each other. I agree all this Mario isn't a bad thing at all; but if each game is going to become progressively dull and the same as the title before it, then it does turn into a problem. The "New" series has indeed become stagnant. List the things that each title did new that makes each game different from one another. Oh NSMB... Made everything old new again? NSMBWii... Did that too, but with multiplayer now, I guess? Woo? NSMB2 has... Lots of coins for no reason? Ok... NSMBU has uh.. Multiplayer again, but this time the backgrounds are prettier and the fifth player can... Make platforms. Ok, this is stupid.
SMB started it all and laid down the ground work of an adventure game, and also what each future Mario game would be like, and introduced the timeless tale of Mario vs Bowser. SMB2 shook it all up with the Subcon adventure; no more stomping enemies and power-ups; this time you were to use terrain and other enemies to fight your enemies, and introduced manu longtime baddies like the Bob-omb. SMB3 went back to its roots, but this time the world is your stage! You can pick up shells, hold items in your bag for later, fight the Koopalings, and travel a variety of lands across the Mushroom World. SMW took you to Dinosaur Land to save the Yoshis from Bowser's clutches, and you'll traverse the huge, interconnected world map as you discover more power-ups, and test your skills with Star World and the Special World.

Why can't it be like that anymore? Granted, we don't know much about NSMBU, so I will definitely give it benefit of the doubt. But Nintendo has got to stop mining for nostalgia and playing it safe. I want them to give me a sense of nostalgia by doing unique and creative things with future games. Give me back that anticipation and excitement that I used to feel for the 2D Mario games by showing me a game that I've never played before, but I really, REALLY want to.

eviLaTtenDant

#42

eviLaTtenDant said:

I love the Round Tables and this one even gave me a different perspective on some things. (Especially on how you can like SMB3 more than World.) Thanks guys.

While SMB wasn't the first game i played, it sure was the first sidescroller i'd ever seen. And though i don't really remember special moments while playing it i know that it is one of the very few games i dreamt about a couple of times. (What if Mario jumped over the flagpole, what if he didn't use the pipe out of the underwater levels but got on the surface instead ...) So it must have had quite an impact on me.

When it comes to NSMB2 and NSMBU i hope they're the last "strategy-only" Mario releases for a long time. (The former to push downloadable (retail) games and the latter to make the install base of the Wii U as huge as possible from day one.)
While i wouldn't rule out being interested in another 2D Mario with a mixture of the SMB3 and SMW map mechanics and maybe even some more puzzle elements seen in the Wario Land games i think it would be best if that only came on the successors to the 3DS and the Wii U.
I mean they can give us DLC now, so there's really no need have a full retail game before they don't have a mindblowing idea.
I'm very interested in a new 3D Mario though and wouldn't mind a sequel to SM3DL late in the 3DS's lifespan.

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